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Epilepsy Behav. 2005 Nov;7(3):491-6. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Obsessionality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Neuropsychiatry Research Group and the Epilepsy Clinic, Department of Neurology, Amedeo Avogadro University, Novara, Italy.


We evaluated the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and we investigated the hypothesis that obsessionality may represent a trait in TLE. Eighty-two consecutive patients with epilepsy, 62 with TLE and 20 with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE), and 82 matched healthy controls were evaluated using the SCID-IP, Y-BOCS, MMPI-2 (specifically the Psychasthenia and Obsessiveness scales), BDI, and STAI Y1 and Y2. Nine of the TLE patients, none of the IGE patients, and one of the controls had a diagnosis of OCD. Psychasthenia and Obsessiveness scores were significantly higher in the TLE than in the IGE and control groups. Patients with TLE and OCD differed significantly with respect to history of depression when compared with patients with TLE without OCD, whereas there were no differences in age at onset and duration of epilepsy, seizure pattern and frequency, MRI features, laterality of the EEG focus, antiepileptic drug therapy and combinations, and BDI scores.

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